Years, I have been waiting for this day. Years! Five and a half years to be exact. Since that afternoon in July of 2004 when we planted a tiny Seville orange sapling.
I have been waiting to make proper orange marmalade from my own fruit. Proper orange marmalade requires Seville oranges, a fruit that even in citrus rich southern California it is very hard to find. Hence the need to make it from my own fruit. Seville oranges will give your marmalade the characteristic bitterness of a classic orange marmalade.
This is our first harvest, four oranges. There are many more in the tree, not yet fully ripe. After five and a half years of patience I couldn’t wait one more day. Four oranges will make enough marmalade to make a first batch. I’ll make more another day, for now, this will do. My very first batch of marmalade, I can’t wait!
A slice of bread, butter and orange marmalade: so good. Finally, I made Seville orange marmalade at home, in my kitchen, from my tree!
To make your own Seville orange marmalade:
- Prepare the fruit. Peel and finely cut the colorful outer layer of the orange, discard the white part of the peel and the seeds, and carefully cut the pulp so you loose as little juice as possible.
- Measure an amount of sugar equal in volume to the amount of fruit you have.
- Place the fruit in a sauce pan, cover with water, and simmer for half an hour. Use about to thirds the volume of fruit in water.
- Add the sugar to the simmering orange. When the sugar is dissolved taste for sugar/acid balance taking into account that it will feel sweeter when hot than when you’ll eat it at room temperature. If it lacks some acidity, add some Seville orange juice, or if you don’t have any extra orange, a bit of lemon juice. Taste and adjust until you like it.
- Simmer for about ten minutes. Maybe less, maybe a little longer, depends on how you like your marmalade’s consistency. You can quickly chill a tablespoon of marmalade in the freezer to check the consistency. Citrus have a lot of pectin even after discarding the white part of the peel, so if you simmer it for as long as you would another type of fruit, you’ll end up with a rock.
- Your marmalade is done.
- I made a small batch so I just poured it into a clean glass jar and refrigerated it. If you prefer to can it, please follow your canning equipment manufacturer’s directions.